At the tip of the 500-meter-long Moll de Barcelona, the trade center preserves the silhouettes of waterfront landmarks against the sky while providing a boldly emblematic building appropriate to its location at the heart of the city’s old port.
The complex is designed not as a single large structure but as a cluster of four curved buildings framing generous public spaces. Grouped around an interlocking arrival forecourt, an inner courtyard with retail arcades, and an elevated central patio, the trade center occupies three of the segments, while a hotel occupies the fourth. Beyond this lies a tree-lined promenade, echoing the historic Ramblas nearby and linking the complex with the larger port and surrounding city.
The Moll de Barcelona and the adjacent waterfront, situated off the Ramblas in the Gothic quarter of downtown Barcelona
116,000 m2 / 1,250,000 ft2 gross area; four-part building complex (three parts: Trade Center, one part: Grand Marina Hotel) with offices, conference center, commercial space, central patio animated by dancing waters; ferry and cruise ship terminals; below-surface parking
Port de Barcelona (previously World Trade Center), Barcelona
Master planning, architecture, exterior envelope, interior design of public spaces
Echoing local tradition, the gangway level serves as a piano nobile with a central patio surrounded by passenger halls, providing access to ships and support spaces. Horizontal bands of windows are reminiscent of those on ocean liners.
A raised, covered walkway running the length of the pier connects ferry terminals with those at the base of the Trade Center. This linking structure doubles as a public promenade overlooking the old port.
Architect of Record: Rafael de Cáceres Zurita (Cruise Ship Terminals); Structural: Leslie E. Roberston Associates, New York; Structural: MC-2 Estudio de Ingenieria, Madrid; Structural: IOC Ingenieria de Obra Civil, Barcelona; Mechanical / Electrical: Cosentini Associates, New York; Mechanical / Electrical: J.G. & Asociados S.A., Barcelona; Mechanical / Electrical: IMOGEP S.A., Lleida, Spain; Images: Fernando Guerra, Mr. Joan Mundo